Germany

Germany

Things to do - general

 

Germany (Listeni/ˈɜːrməni/; German: Deutschland, pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃlant]), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, About this sound listen ),[d][8] is a federal parliamentary republic in centralwestern Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular immigration destination in the world.[9][10] Germany’s capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr (main centres: Dortmund and Essen). The country’s other major cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen, Dresden, Hannover and Nuremberg.

Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity. A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire.[11] During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. The remains of the Holy Roman Empire formed the German Confederation in 1815, while the German revolutions of 1848–49 established major democratic rights first.

In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states were unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. In 1933 the Nazi seizure of power quickly led to the establishment of Nazi Germany which was built upon a dictatorship and consequently led to World War II and one of the biggest genocides in history, the Holocaust. By 1945 Germany and most of Europe were left in destruction and ruins. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded: the democratic Federal Republic of Germany (commonly known as West Germany) and the socialist German Democratic Republic (commonly known as East Germany). A wall encircling West Berlin was created on August 13, 1961, and was torn down on November 9, 1989. On 3 October 1990, the country was reunified.[12]

In the 21st century, Germany is a great power and has the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP, as well as the fifth-largest by PPP. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world’s third-largest exporter and importer of goods. Germany is a developed country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled and productive society. It upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection and a tuition-free university education.[13]

The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD. The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, philosophers, musicians, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and inventors.

Country Germany
Visa requirements

Visa in not needed for EU citizens. Everyone else need a visa.

Languages spokenGerman
Currency usedEuro
Area (km2)357,168 km2

Sports & nature

Sport in Germany is an important part of German culture and society. In 2006 about 27.5 million people were members of the more than 91,000 sport clubs in Germany. Almost all sports clubs are represented by the Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund (DOSB, German Olympic Sports Federation).

 

Friedrich Ludwig Jahn known as Turnvater Jahn (father of gymnastics) was born in 1778 and worked as an assistant teacher in Berlin. At Berlin's Hasenheide Friedrich Ludwig Jahn opened the first German gymnastics field ('Turnplatz'), or open-air gymnasium, in spring 1811. His activities were particularly pointed at the youth, with whom he went to the gym field in free afternoons. The German gymnastics, understood by Jahn as a whole of the physical exercises.

Jahn developed well-known gymnastic equipment, invented also new apparatuses. Particularly by his main writing "Die Deutsche Turnkunst" (1816) the apparatus gymnastics developed to an independent kind of sport, and so the gym activities were not only limited to simple physical exercises, which he quoted as following: "Going, running, jumping, throwing, carrying are free exercises, everywhere applicable, as free as fresh air."

With the national gymnastics festivals in Coburg in 1860, in Berlin in 1861 and in Leipzig in 1863, the memory of Jahn's ideas returned into the people's consciousness. The inscription at the gable of his house "Frisch, Fromm, Fröhlich, Frei", translated as 'fresh, pious, cheerful, free", which originated in Jahn's time, became the basic idea of the German gymnastics movement.

In 1934, the Nazi government founded the Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, later the Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, as the official sports governing body of the Third Reich. All other German sport associations gradually lost their freedom and were coopted into it. The organization was disbanded in 1945 by the American military government.

Nightlife info

German classical music includes works by some of the world's most well-known composers. Dieterich Buxtehude composed oratorios for organ, which influenced the later work of Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Händel; these men were influential composers of the Baroque period. During his tenure as violinist and teacher at the Salzburg cathedral, Augsburg-born composer Leopold Mozart mentored one of the most noted musicians of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Ludwig van Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras. Carl Maria von Weber and Felix Mendelssohn were important in the early Romantic period. Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms composed in the Romantic idiom. Richard Wagner was known for his operas. Richard Strauss was a leading composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. Karlheinz Stockhausen and Hans Zimmer are important composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries.[263]

Germany is the second largest music market in Europe, and fourth largest in the world.[264] German popular music of the 20th and 21st century includes the movements of Neue Deutsche Welle, pop, Ostrock, heavy metal/rock, punk, pop rock, indie and schlager pop. German electronic music gained global influence, with Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream pioneering in this genre.[265] DJs and artists of the techno and house music scenes of Germany have become well known (e.g. Felix Jaehn, Paul van Dyk, Paul Kalkbrenner, and Scooter).[266]

 

Berlin is a huge city. You can make use of the excellent bus, tram, train and underground services to get around. Taxi services are also easy to use and a bit less expensive than in many other big Central European cities. You can hail a cab (the yellow light on the top shows the cab is available), or find a taxi rank (Taxistand). Taxi drivers are in general able to speak English. If you ask for a short trip (Kurzstrecke), as long as it's under 2km and before the taxi driver starts the meter running, the trip normally is cheaper, €4. This only applies if you flag the taxi down on the street, not if you get in at a taxi rank. Also, some online services like Talixo facilitate online and in-app booking.

Check the Berlin route planner [126] (in English) to get excellent maps and schedules for the U-Bahn, buses, S-Bahn and trams, or to print your personal journey planner. The route planer can also calculate the fastest door-to-door connection for you destination for any given day and hour. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) have a detailed fare list on their web site [127].

If you don't know how to get somewhere, or how to get home at night, call +49 30 19449, the Customer Service of the BVG. There are also facilities in most U-Bahn and some S-Bahn stations to contact the Customer Service directly. In 2005 the BVG introduced Metro lines (buses and tram) that run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All lines are marked with a big orange plate and a white M.

It's also worth noting that the house numbers do not necessarily run in one direction (up or down). On a lot of streets, the numbers ascend on one side and descend on the other. Especially on long streets, check the numbering scheme first: you can find the name of the street and the numbers on that block at nearly every street corner.

Different from what is usual in some English-speaking countries, in Germany, you would have to add the word for "street", "square", "park", etc. when you mention the name of a locality. The simple reason for this is that the annex defines the locality and is part of its denomination. Thus, they would not simply refer to "Kurfürsten" when talking about Kurfürstenstraße (Kurfürsten Street), as this could also mean "Kurfürstendamm", which is a different road at a different place. "Schloss", which simply means "palace", could refer to any of the palaces in Berlin, as well as to one of the two roads called "Schloßstraße", a shopping centre called "Das Schloss", or the "Schloßplatz" in the Mitte district.

Bars[edit]

Berliners love to drink cocktails, and it's a main socializing point for young people. Many people like to meet their friends in a cocktail bar before clubbing. Prenzlauer Berg (Around U-Bahnhof Eberswalder Str., Helmholtzplatz, Oderberger Straße & Kastanienallee), Kreuzberg (Bergmannstraße, Oranienstraße and the area around Görlitzer Park and U-Bahnhof Schlesisches Tor), Schöneberg (Goltzstraße, Nollendorfplatz, Motzstraße for gays), and Friedrichshain (Simon-Dach-Straße and around Boxhagener Platz) are the main areas. There aren't as many illegal bars as there were in the '90s but bars open and close faster than you can keep up - check out the bar and cocktail guides in the bi-weekly magazines Tip or Zitty. For recommended bars, have a look at the district pages.

Clubs[edit]

For more clubs, have a look at the district pages.

The club scene in Berlin is one of the biggest and most progressive in Europe. Even though there are some 200 clubs in the city, it's sometimes difficult to find the right club for you since the best ones are a bit off the beaten track and most bouncers will keep bigger tourist groups (especially males) out. Entrance is cheap compared to other big European cities, normally from 5 to €10 (usually no drink included).

The main clubbing districts are in the east: Mitte (especially north of Hackescher Markt and - a bit hidden - around Alexanderplatz), Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (around Schlesisches Tor) and Prenzlauer Berg (around station Eberswalder Str.). Some mainstream clubs are located in Charlottenburg and at Potsdamer Platz. Electro and techno are still the biggest in Berlin, with lots of progressive DJs and live acts around. But there are also many clubs playing '60s beat, alternative rock and of course mainstream music. Clubbing days are Thursday, Friday and especially Saturday, but some clubs are open every day of the week. Partying in Berlin starts around midnight (weekends) and peaks around 2AM or 3AM in the normal clubs, a bit later in many electro/techno clubs. Berlin is famous for its long and decadent after hours, going on until Monday evening.

A good overview about whats going on close to the place you are staying is brought to you by joinjack.de. This webside shows you parties directly on a map.

Source WIKI TRAVEL & WIKIPEDIA

Culture and history info

People[edit]

Berlin is a relatively young city by European standards, dating to the thirteenth century, and it has always had a reputation as a place filled with people from elsewhere. It may seem tough to find someone born and raised here! This is part of Berlin's charm: it never gets stuck in a rut.

A certain uneasy détente still exists between some former residents of East and West Berlin (and Germany). Wessi evolved as a derogatory nickname for a West German; its corollary is Ossi. The implication here is that after reunification, the West Germans automatically assumed the way they do things is the right way, and the way the Easterners should start doing it, too. Westerners got a reputation for being arrogant. They saw the Easterners as stubborn Communist holdouts interested only in a handout from the "rich West." Consider a shirt for sale in a shop inside the Alexanderplatz Deutsche Bahn station: Gott, schütze mich vor Sturm und Wind/und Wessies die im Osten sind ("God, protect me from the storm and wind, and Wessies who are in the East"). Another such stereotype is reflected by the short poem: Der Ossi ist schlau und stellt sich dumm, beim Wessi ist es andersrum ("The Ossi is sly and pretends to be simple-minded, and with the Wessi, it's the other way around"). However, most of the younger generation do not share such prejudices. (Wikitravel)

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